There were no sign posts welcoming us to the Kimberley, but we perceived a change as we arrived at Eighty Mile Beach for the night. It was overcast, and a firm breeze shifted clouds across the sky with no break to show sunlight – rather a good metaphor for our mindset.
We were welcomed and allocated a quiet grassy site not far from the amenities and entrance to the beach, with the lovely lady at reception happy to talk about how wonderful dogs are for our health!
After three hours in the car, we were all in need of a stretch. Luna was keen to be out of the car, and a passing staff member in a golf cart, skidded to a stop when he saw her. Pet dogs are not allowed at Eighty Mile Beach, but Luna had her vest on and was on lead tied to a tree. She gave an excited bark as she sniffed for the right spot to relieve herself, and Paul called out to the staff member that Luna is a service dog and has management permission to be there. A snide comment that “she doesn’t sound like a service dog”, before scooting off in his buggy, left rather a sour taste in our mouths. Nothing like meeting someone who needs a self-righteous last word without having a proper discussion! Thankfully he was the only negative experience there.
Setting up and walking around the campgrounds to orientate ourselves, we were amazed by the hundreds of dragonflies flitting around, their transparent wings catching rainbows as they flew.
Eighty Mile Beach is known for its stunning sunsets and sunrises, and we made sure to be there as the last light of the day turned the sand a dark blue in its wake. We wandered the sands, pondering the shells and sand dollars, marvelling at the patterns left by the water left behind in pools, trailing back to meet the ocean. The children were smiling, and we felt calmer.
It was a quiet night, and we were ready to leave the next morning, having stayed hitched up to the Legend the night before. A last look at the beach showed an even lower tide than the night before, with many people exploring the tidal flat left open to the sunshine.
Another beautiful location to come back to and while away a couple of weeks fishing and exploring the sandy expanses. There was no sign of those dragonflies that morning, but their message was received by Kirstine and lifted her spirits. Having flown the earth for 300 million years, dragonflies symbolise our ability to overcome times of hardship. They remind us to reconnect with our own strength, courage and happiness. It’s not the first time that Nature has connected with us in this way, and we are so very glad to have this poignant reminder that we are starting fresh. Onwards and upwards from here as we continue our travels north before heading south towards home.